Departmental Papers (Dental)

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Journal Article

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Molecular Neurobiology





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A main requisite in the phagocytosis of ingested material is a coordinated series of maturation steps which lead to the degradation of ingested cargo. Photoreceptor outer segment (POS) renewal involves phagocytosis of the distal disk membranes by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Previously, we identified melanoregulin (MREG) as an intracellular cargo-sorting protein required for the degradation of POS disks. Here, we provide evidence that MREG-dependent processing links both autophagic and phagocytic processes in LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). Ingested POS phagosomes are associated with endogenous LC3 and MREG. The LC3 association with POSs exhibited properties of LAP; it was independent of rapamycin pretreatment, but dependent on Atg5. Loss of MREG resulted in a decrease in the extent of LC3-POS association. Studies using DQ™-BSA suggest that loss of MREG does not compromise the association and fusion of LC3-positive phagosomes with lysosomes. Furthermore, the mechanism of MREG action is likely through a protein complex that includes LC3, as determined by colocalization and immunoprecipitation in both RPE cells and macrophages. We posit that MREG participates in coordinating the association of phagosomes with LC3 for content degradation with the loss of MREG leading to phagosome accumulation.

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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Molecular Neurobiology. The final authenticated version is available online at:


Melanoregulin, Autophagy, Retinal pigment epithelium, Phagocytosis, Microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3

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Dentistry Commons



Date Posted: 01 March 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.